Here she is hunting.
The Will to Live
By Traci Bold
“I’ll be right there,” I call out, swishing the mop into the bucket hurriedly. He pounds again on the back door. I hear him shouting.
“I can’t get the door, I’m carrying Brittie; she’s hurt.” His words are stressed and worried, he knows how fast my heart breaks when any animal is hurt, especially my own dog.
I open the door for them. Kevin carries Brittie into the living room, gently placing her on the couch. I scour her body for signs of blood which I don’t see Thank God. Gently, I pet her head, soothing those worried amber colored eyes.
“Good girl, Brittie. You’ll be all right. Did you get a pheasant?” At the word pheasant, her ears perk right up.
Kevin proudly strokes her fur, “You did, didn’t you girl? You kicked it up and when I shot it down you ran after it even though you were hurt.” As he says this, he looks right at me, worry blanketing his face.
He explains. “We kicked up two pheasants that I missed and about an hour later, she kicked up another after going into point. I was able to sneak up on it like she was doing and this time, we got close enough that when she kicked it out of the corn, I got a good shot. As soon as she started after it when it fell from the sky, she howled in pain. She was far enough ahead of me that I couldn’t see her. I could hear her trying to trudge through the corn though and I caught up to her. As soon as she saw me, she trudged harder trying to get to the downed pheasant, not wanting to disappoint me but she was trudging on only three legs, her back right leg carefully not touching the ground.” Kevin takes a deep breath, letting me process his words.
“I called to her to stay which she did but she was anxious. When I got to her, she laid down again, tucking her right leg in close and howled. I picked her up and turned around to carry her back to the truck and she howled more. I wasn’t sure if I was hurting her more carrying her and she started squirming hard to get down so I set her down to see if she would walk slowly with me on leash but she pulled hard the other way, which made her howl again and I realized she wanted to get that pheasant no matter what it took. But being stubborn like I am, I gently tugged on her leash to follow me to the truck. She howled again, repeatedly and sat down until I relented and we walked to the pheasant. This however was a long process getting there as we had to stop every few feet to let her rest. When we did get to it, she picked it up dry-mouth and gave it to me, proud as hell.
I pat her head, telling her how pleased I was. As soon as I had the pheasant tied to a rope and slung over my shoulder, she let me carry her back to the truck. And, here we are.”
Brittie looks up at me, pleased. “Good girl Brittie! You are the best pheasant hunter I know. How about a special treat?” With a happy tail wag to prod me along, I return with a beef biscuit for her. Happily she eats it while I rub her right leg until I get to her knee; then she tenses up and whimpers.
“You’ll have to call the vet right away Monday morning to get her in. I don’t know if she just got a stinger in her joint muscles or if she tore her ACL like Coal did, (referring to our Black Lab who died two years ago). I just know she was running as fast she could all day today whenever I shot at one.” Kevin gives her a kiss on her head and brings in the pheasant for her to sniff down.
Proudly she looks up at me showing me her treasure. I praise her repeatedly proceeding to baby her the rest of the day.
It was the last time she was able to go pheasant hunting; she was seven years old then.
Three days after she went in to visit the vet she had knee surgery to fix her torn ACL.
Friday morning as I waited to pick her up, the vet pulled me aside to tell me Brittie may not live long. While she was coming out of the anesthesia, he checked her kidney function, standard procedure form any surgery, and found she was in early stages of kidney failure and gave me medicine for her.
“My guess is that in two weeks you will have to bring her back in. I think her symptoms will probably not improve,” he told me. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
The assistant brought Brittie to me and together, we loaded her into the car.
I spend the entire day laying on the air mattress Kevin had blown up for her the night before until he gets home and then I head directly to the store to buy filtered drinking water.
The next few weeks were exhausting for Brittie and I. during the day when the kids were at school and Kevin at work, I sat or laid next to her on the air mattress, carrying her outside to do her business when she needed. I brought her food to her and kept her water close by. Her kidney function was improving steadily.
Kevin and my girls made dinner and kept the house clean. When they were home, I would shower and do laundry.
“Honey, I don’t think Brit would have healed as fast if you hadn’t stayed home with her while you did. I’m really happy you were able to take a leave of absence from work to take of her,” Kevin told me as we both sat next to Brittie, him massaging her leg. “I think Brittie’s glad too.”
I gave Brittie a kiss on her head and she licked my chin saying, “Thanks.”
Three years ago, I lost both of my jobs due to an injury and Brittie and I are together twenty-four seven again.
Now she is just past fifteen years old and though she cannot go for walks anymore, she does walk around the yard with me when outside and she still points when she spots a rabbit (her second favorite animal to hunt). Talk about a will to live!
I enjoy every day I have with her. Just look at her face, how can you not want to hang with her, huh?!
Cheers to our pets who love us unconditionally!!!! They deserve the best.
[vol-i-tnt, -tuh nt]
Children and teens have picked their favorite books of the year! They had the chance to vote for their favorite books, authors and illustrators online at ccbookawards.com sponsored by the Children’s Book Council (CBC). These winners were honored at the 96th Annual Children’s Book Week in New York City, NY on May 4, 2015.
Children’s Book Week runs May 4-10, 2015.
To learn more about events going on this week in your area, please check online at bookweekonline.com.
Here are the winners for 2015 Children’s Choice Book Awards:
Kindergarten – Second Grade Book of the Year Award
‘Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut Ever!’ by Jeff Cohen, illus. by Elanna Allen published
by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Third Grade – Fourth Grade Book of the Year Award
‘Kali’s Story An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue’ by Jennifer Keats Curtis, illus. by John Gomes
published by Arbordale Publishing
Fifth Grade – Sixth Grade Book of the Year Award
‘The Dumbest Idea Ever!’ by Jimmy Gownley published by Graphix (imprint of Scholastic)
Teen Book of the Year Award
‘The One’ by Kiera Cass, published by HarperTeen
Children’s Choice Debut Author
J. A. White for The Thickety: A Path Begins,’ published by Katherine Tegen Books, (imprint of
HarperCollins Children’s Books
Teen Choice Debut Author
Jennifer Mathieu for ‘The Truth About Alice’ published by Roaring Brook Press,
“Ollie, I’m headed out to the city for some fun. Would you like to go with me?” Wally asked.
“Naw, I’m good thank you,” Ollie replied. “This tree here is pretty special and is calling my name for a delightful nap. And when I wake up, it will give up some delicious eucalyptus leaves as my snack and drink.”
“I’m rather bored with eucalyptus leaves Ollie. I want to see what’s beyond our forest. I want to explore, have some fun and try new food. Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” Wally asked again.
“Naw, I’m good thank you,” Ollie repeated and settled in on the comfortable branch for his nap.
Off Wally went to the big city at the edge of the eucalyptus forest.
He stopped several times on his journey to climb a eucalyptus tree for a snack and to quench his thirst.
Finally, he reached the edge of the city. It was night time and quite cool outside, the perfect time to explore.
Bright lights and city sounds took hold of his senses. His eyes adjusted to his new surroundings. His ears listened for the sounds of predators and hearing none, he was off toward the first place that looked interesting.
At the edge of the forest was a black line. People carriers of all shapes and sizes zoomed across this line. Wally waited patiently to cross it. He had seen the people carriers in his forest and they did not look out for him or the other animals.
The first place past this line was a people dwelling with strange rectangular metal trees with one arm in front of it. He watched the people carriers drive up to these metal trees where the tree would put its’ arm into their carriers. Wally decided these trees must give the people carriers water to drink like his eucalyptus leaves gave him.
As interesting as the watering hole for people carriers was, there was no fun there for Wally.
He walked on along the sides of the black lines until he came to another people dwelling. This dwelling was very large, very long and very tall.
“I am a little tired from my journey so far. Maybe this dwelling has a nice tree for me to sleep in a little while.” Wally said to no one.
Wally watched the people step in front of the door as it magically opened for them. When the people were inside, Wally stepped in front of the door too. Magically, it opened for him as well.
He looked around this dwelling. No people were present but there was a tree inside, right next to some soft looking rocks. Wally climbed up. The branches bent at his weight. Tired, he went right to sleep.
When he woke up, he snapped a leaf off and bit into it.
“Yuk! This is a horrible tasting leaf. I cannot eat these.” Wally said. “I must go find some food.” He climbed back down and walked out the magical doors. Daylight had come.
He walked and walked, avoiding the people who did not see him down by the black line that kept bumping into him. He spent all day trying to find any place fun to explore or any food that looked as good as his eucalyptus leaves. Discouraged, he decided to go home.
Darkness had fallen again. Wally walked on toward the forest. Before he could cross the black line, he stopped in front of another people dwelling. A delicious smell seemed to be coming from it and he was hungry. Finally, a person came out of the magical doors carrying a bag.
A breeze wafted the delicious smell towards Wally.
“This must be a food dwelling for people. I will go inside and find some food.”
Wally stepped in front of the magic doors. They opened. He walked inside. He smelled the air. Nothing delicious in here, he thought. Where are the people?
He walked around the room with the many strange shaped rocks that he had seen people sitting on in other dwellings he explored.
Not finding any food in this room, he walked into the opening of another room where strange metal objects and shiny little bottles lined a wall. Constant beeping and flashing red dots came from a metal tree with many arms and branches on it. “No fun and no food,” Wally thought.
He walked to the other side. On this wall were pictures of colorful plants, people, animals, land and trees. He sniffed the air again. He frowned.
Hungry and tired, Wally stepped in front of the magical door. It opened and he started his walk home.
He crossed the busy black line and into the forest. The first tree he came to, he climbed right up, found a comfortable branch and went to sleep.
In the morning, he ate his fill of delicious eucalyptus leaves, filling his tummy and quenching his thirst.
By midday, Wally made it back to his tree next to his friend, Ollie.
“Good day Ollie!” Wally called out.
“Good day Wally!” Ollie called back. “How was your walkabout?”
“Full of adventure but horrible food Ollie,” Wally explained. “There’s no place like home. If I get hungry again for exotic food, I will search for a wattle tree. Will you go with me then?”
“Naw. This tree here is pretty special and gives me all I need.” said Ollie.
Wally bit into a leaf. “You’re right Ollie. I have all I need right here.”
Children’s Book Week starts May 4th running through May 10th. Celebrate this magical week by finding events in your area from http://bookweekonline.com/ .
Below are the highlighted Wisconsin events so far. check out the link above to find events in your state.
The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop in Fort Atkinson, WI have children’s fun going on May 9, 10am: Curious George will be here to take pictures and will join our story time at 10:20! Enter to win either a Treasury of Curious George or a $20 Gift Certificate to The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop. Visit here for more information, http://www.velveteenrabbitbookshop.com/ .
In Milwaukee, WI, the Boswell Book Company, http://boswell.indiebound.com/, will be hosting events on the following dates:
May 7, 6:30pm: Middle-Grade author panel featuring Julie Mata (Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens), Sandy Brehl (Odin’s Promise), and Emily Demuth (Hattie’s War)!
May 8, 7pm: Silvia Acevedo (God Awful Loser)
May 9, 2pm: Picture Book author panel featuring Janet Halfmann (Animal Teachers), Kashmira Sheth (Sona and the Wedding Game), and Jamie Swenson (If You Were a Dog ).
Happy celebrating with your kids. #justkeepreading #justkeepreading
The featured photo is the 2015 Children’s Book Week Poster by Grace Lee.
Today’s word of the day by dictionary.com is
Now, use it in a sentence, a paragraph or a short story.
Here is my example:
Sitting in my garden with hummingbirds surrounding me, hovering, flitting and attending the feeders I set for them give me such a rhapsodic feeling of contentment; like being in heaven.
Remembering May Day and the history behind it. The best sources to explain the origin of May Day are in the links at the bottom of this post.
There are two reasons May Day is celebrated.
The first is over a thousand years old and a much more festive and cheery celebrations.
The Celtic Northern Hemisphere celebrations of Beltane, are on May 1. “May Day was, and still is, known as Beltane; a festival for the celebration of the life, fertility and summer.”
Dancing around the decorated Maypole and children giving May Baskets to their neighbors on their doorsteps are all part of this celebration here in America, though these traditions are not as common in the twenty-first century. The baskets were made out of whatever was available and filled with flowers or sweets or both, then delivered early in the morning May 1 on each neighbor’s doorstep.
The second reason May Day is celebrated is to remember those who gave their lives to gain 8 hour workdays and safe working conditions.
Below is an excerpt from one of the articles.
“In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Jack London’s The Iron Heel.
Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers’ lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.
On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.
More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.
For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the “anarchist-dominated” Metal Workers’ Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.”
Unfortunately, so many people believe that in America this freedom was just handed over. Not true. It wasn’t out of the goodness of business owners hearts that work days became 8 hour days with pay. The workers fought for it, the first labor unions gave their lives for it which gave way to better formed unions who eventually paved the way for the industrial working conditions today.